How modular vehicle platforms are creating a new future for e-commerce delivery

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The needs of the e-commerce and delivery sectors are fundamentally changing. With consumers becoming accustomed to same-day, near-instant delivery times, delivery vehicle miles traveled (VMT) could reach 78 billion per year by 2040, with one estimate predicting the autonomous delivery market is estimated to be worth US$91.5bn by 2030.

Additional VMT as a result of the boom in online orders creates a supply chain gap for retailers, forcing them to innovate to make factories and fulfillment centers more automated, all while keeping safety and cost efficiency top of mind. In response, the mobility industry has proposed  CASE (connected, autonomous, shared and electric) technology, but REE Automotive’s response to these changing e-commerce and delivery demands is a more dynamic SPACE (Shared, Platform, Autonomous, Connected and Electric) solution.

SPACE, rather than CASE, solutions are necessary in order to address common barriers of cost, use-case flexibility, safety and scalability. While we can’t know what the industry will look like over the next 20 years, we can create a completely modular platform solution to adapt to any need and address the concerns of the e-commerce market. REE is upending vehicle design and reshaping the movement of goods, people and services with its unique modular platform solutions. By offering complete design flexibility and cost-effective, scalable solutions, REE is enabling an efficient, electrified and autonomous mobility future. As the needs of the delivery industry are changing, so must the vehicles that support them.

REE offers two turnkey solutions to support this vision: the REEcorner integrates traditional vehicle components – including motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems and power management – into the arch of the wheel. By concentrating all drive components into such a small footprint, REE enables a wide range of auto body configurations on a completely flat and modular chassis with the REEboard platform. This means the REE platform can provide additional and flexible space, which is particularly important for the needs of the e-commerce and delivery vehicle market. This unique technology solution is optimally positioned to dominate a sector that hasn’t yet been fully explored, and creates scalability by allowing customers to start out with an EV solution before transitioning into fully autonomous.

The REE solution defines flexibility: each vehicle can be customized for the goods and services that need to be delivered. Recently, REE announced a cooperation with Hino Motors, Toyota’s truck-arm, to create the FlatFormer, a fully flat electric chassis that explores a wide range of applications to support the growth of mobility and e-commerce customers using their vehicle fleets. The use cases are varied and include robotaxis, autonomous delivery and shared mobility to name a few. Freedom of design is particularly relevant when looking at the variety of requirements from different e-commerce retailers; from closed circuit fulfillment center transportation to on-the-road delivery, the completely customizable REE solution supports it all.

It is well known that going electric can create savings by entirely eliminating fuel consumption as an overhead cost. The REE solution builds in additional cost savings – the corner-module technology clears the chassis from drive components, freeing up to 67% more space for additional load and batteries, and creating a 33% reduction in weight to improve battery efficiency. With each ride operating more efficiently, customers can deliver more volume and create stronger revenue streams than ever before.

REE boasts exceptional safety as an ASIL D ready platform, REE’s solution is fully certified and compliant with ISO 26262 standards. REE maintains a safety culture in all design cycles, including numerous safety managers on board. Furthermore, all of REE’s 300 manufacturing partners are compliant and provide the highest level of quality engineering. REE is also fully compliant with US LSV, FMVSS and US EPA (Vehicle Classification of Light Duty Truck 1) requirements.

By resolving issues around safety, cost efficiency and scalability, highly customizable SPACE solutions like the REEcorner and REEboard are set to catalyze the growth of the autonomous e-commerce market.

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